I have worked with quite a few executives this year who say they are experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety: unable to focus, tired before they start the work day, worried about what could happen. Their mojo seems ‘lost’ and they are far from enjoying Top Performance.
The trouble is ‘getting more done in less time with fewer resources’ is often seen as optimal productivity. However, it also leads to cramming things in, quick transitions and being transactional which is great, if you’re a hamster. For nearly a decade, I was paid to get as many 6-minute chargeable units as I could in a week. Corridor conversations were seen as a waste of time, getting in the way of chargeable time. It’s still like this today for some of us.
Our access to technology feeds into our ‘busyness’. ‘Cramming and Christmas’ are synonymous for many of us – how ironic, when Christmas is supposed to be a time of good cheer. It’s no wonder that we end up smiling on the outside, yet feeling like Dr Seuss’ Grinch on the inside:-(
Here’s a little formula that I find works on myself to keep me smiling on the inside. It amounts to good habits for a well-functioning brain and requires self-honesty.
Believe – Believe you can ‘slow down AND do more’.
Breathe – Breathing from the diaphragm / ribcage area, connects you to the higher level thinking part of the brain – the Prefrontal Cortex – where sound decisions are made. I use the queues for car parking and grocery shopping as a cue to breathe ‘properly’.
Leave – Excuse yourself from the flurry, step out of what you are doing, even if it’s just for two minutes. Go for a walk. You’ll come back refreshed, especially if you combine it with ‘proper’ breathing and appreciating what you have got going for you.
Retrieve – Go back to what you were doing, with determination. You’ll see things in a new light, with renewed clarity.
By applying this formula, you’ll be back on the way to enjoying top performance, with line-of-sight to what really matters. Another bonus is that you’ll enjoy your own company more, and so will others.